First Lady launches mobile clinic in Homa Bay

Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on August 28, this year  launched a mobile clinic in Homa Bay County under her project, ‘Beyond Zero’. Below is the speech she delivered.


Anti-wrinkle drug may treat stomach cancers: study

By Xinhua
 Botox, the popular wrinkle eraser, could also be effective in treating stomach cancers, a new study said.


Nurses threaten to join push for referendum

By Correspondent
Health workers are now threatening to join the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) referendum quest if their issues are not adequately addressed.


Where to get Chinese delicacies in Nairobi

By Xihnua
The way to a Kenyan's heart is through his stomach. Chinese restaurants are offering Kenyans diverse cuisine to their taste buds.
Eliud Ekiring is a chef who has worked at Fang Fang, a Chinese restaurant in Nairobi, for seven years. He learned the Chinese cuisine as a quite exotic skill, just because he loves it.
As most of his local colleagues did, he has learned the art through experience while serving in the kitchen under the tutelage of the Chinese restaurant owners. It took him about six months to be fully compliant in the skill.
"Although I cannot say that I can cook all types of Chinese foods, I am very conversant with those that are served in the eating place. However, given a recipe, it wouldn't take me long to come up with a tasty meal," Ekiring said.
More and more Chinese restaurants pop up in Kenya, especially in Nairobi, an indication that the Chinese presence in Kenya is not only technological, but also gastronomical.
With food averaging 15 U.S. dollars in price in Fang Fang, the culinary outings are restricted more to the middle class and upper class Kenyans. Weekends have seen business thrives as mostly Kenyan customers take their families out.
Jacob Lukaka, a lecturer at the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi and also a gourmet, found the consonance between the Chinese food and Kenyan food.
"The community where I come from has a craving for chicken. When I was in China, I found out that chicken is a very popular delicacy in the country and hence my favorite dish was spiced chicken and noodles," he said.
To him, the Chinese food is also a reminiscence of his good days in China. He studied Chinese language and culture at Tianjin Normal University for four years before returning to Kenya.
"My Chinese workmate introduced me to their oriental cuisine, and ever since, I have become a frequent patron of Chinese eating places," Martin Obiero, a patron, told Xinhua at a Chinese restaurant in Nairobi.
"During lunchtime, for me it is usually a battle of wits between choosing nyama choma (roast meat) or chicken soaked in Shaoxing wine. More often than not, it is the latter choice that prevails," Obiero, an IT technician at a Chinese-owned company said.
Obiero says one of the things he has learnt about his Chinese workmates is the love for their culture which, he says they are more than willing to introduce to their acquaintances.
"The conventional Chinese culture is rich, and food is an integral part of Chinese culture. I have started learning the Chinese language also so that as they learn from me, I also learn from them."
The Chinese cuisine is not only just in the international metropolis city of Nairobi. In Nakuru-Eldoret highway, about 10 minutes' drive from Nakuru town situated about 160 km northwest of Nairobi, a Chinese restaurant opened since 2005 is growing popular among the Kenyans.
Lu, the owner of the restaurant said the popular dishes are Kung Pao Chicken. It's a mixture of the chicken, vegetables and the cashew nuts. "Kenyans really enjoy eating chicken and always come for it," she said.
With the Kenyan culture for the love of rice, fish and Nyama Choma (roasted meat), she provides the equivalent of the charming steamed rice and the sizzling beef as well as fish.
"Kenyans are friendly people and I have enjoyed serving them. Whenever I encourage them to try a different meal on the menu, they try and give me a response which is very encouraging," Lu said.
Lu gets her food supplies from the locals and her staff consist of trained local chefs and waiters.
Weekends are her busiest days as family and friends flock in to enjoy the delicacies. Among her customers are lawyers, university lectures and doctors.
She also receives Chinese customers on transit to or from Nairobi and those from the Indian community.
"I found in Kenyan culture, food is a best way to unite friends and family members. It's the same in Chinese culture," she added.

How Maasais avoid gouts

By Metro reporter
While most people consider Nyama Choma (roasted meat) as a lifestyle deli¬cacy and the in-thing that is associ¬ated with the wealthy generation, a few understand the side-effects the stuff can cause in their bodies later in life.
It’s called the rich-man disease, because it is believed the poor who cannot afford beer and roasted meat are out of reach of this widespread phenomenon.
Having gout, a disease that is characterised by an abnormal me¬tabolism of uric acid in the tissues, blood and which has also come to be christened a “rich man disease”, can be agonising.
Gouty arthritis is a common cause of a sudden onset of a painful, hot, red, swollen joint, particularly in the foot of the big toe.
The disease is reportedly the most common cause of inflamma¬tory arthritis in men over the age of 40. The age bracket may be even lower down thanks to meat roasting that has become our lifestyle.
Young men and women with means, drive out from the city to places like Ngong, Kajiado, Macha-kos, Ongata Rongai, Kiserian, Isenya or even Kitengela with fixed mind of where meat roasting joints are.
Eating too much roasted meat and watering it down with several pints of water frequently, according to Dr Jay Marks, may build up uric acid in the body that may cause joint inflammation (arthritis).
The inflammation is precipitated by the deposition of uric acid crys¬tals in the lining of the joint (syn-ovial lining) and the fluid within the joint.
Among the Maasai community meat eating is not even a lifestyle but a way of life. This community, in the earlier years, depended entirely on meat, blood and milk -- just like in western Kenya where ugali cannot miss dining tables in many homes.
So how have the Maasai sur¬vived being attacked by gout? Kite¬we ole Ntiwa, a local herbalist in Kitengela town, says although gout is not common among the Maasai there are such cases among modern young men who have abandoned herbal medicines that is normally taken every time meat is eaten.
Ntiwa says it was a rule, since immemorial, that Maasai morans are given herbal concoctions before they eat cooked or roasted meat.
The medicine is extracted from five medicinal plants, name¬ly; engiloriti (reduces acid in the body), orbatelon’go (adds blood in the body), losesiayi (cleans blood), orkokola (adds fluids to joints and backbone) and magotogot (flexes ligaments).
Extracts from all the herbal plants are mixed together and either mixed with soup or is taken prior to eating meat and that every moran adheres strictly to it.
Ntiwa further adds that, among the Maasai meat roasting for young men was not encouraged. “We used to prefer that young men are fed boiled meat. Boiled meat has no acid in human body like roasted one,” added Ntiwa.
The medicine-man who says he inherited his art from his parents la¬ments that most of his herbs, now in great demand locally and even across the borders, is not easily available due to what he terms as “wanton destruction of forests”.
He says most of the herbs are found in Tanzania, Mt Elgon in Uganda, Mt Kenya and some places in Meru that still retain indigenous vegetation.
According to medical experts, people with gout either produce too much uric acid, or more com¬monly, their bodies have a problem in removing it. It is said there are a number of possible consequences of this buildup of uric acid in the body, including acute and chronic gouty arthritis, kidney stones, and local deposits of uric acid (tophi) in the skin and other tissues.
Medical experts say gout may occur alone (primary) or may be associated with other medical con-ditions or medications (secondary gout).
Charles Soi, a resident of Isinya, has lived with gouty arthritis for the last 15 years. In his coat pockets you will never miss several pain-killers that he says keeps him going about his businesses in and around Kajia¬do County.
Soi says; “even with a ten-foot pole I won’t touch any roasted meat because I understand what it means to be a gout patient”. He says the hot inflammation on the big toes is un¬bearable and that at times when he is attacked without the drugs, he some¬times blacks out because of pain.
Although gout is associated with men, rumours has it that women above fifty years and not receiving their menstrual periods can also be attacked by this rich man’s disease if their do not check the amount of roast meat they eat.

‘Living with an inflated balloon in your stomach’

By Metro Reporter


Imagine living with an inflated balloon in your stomach to regulate how much you eat. Or having your stomach stapled because you are unable to control your eating habits. Desperate to cut weight and have slender bodies, this is what some Kenyans have resorted to.

This week Dr Shchukin presented a paper on bariatric surgeries in the treatment of obesity and the new developments in Kenya. His presentation was made during the third annual Non-Communicable Diseases symposium hosted by Nairobi Hospital.

Themed, “25 by 25 – Is Kenya ready?,’ the conference hoped to audit Kenya’s progress towards reducing deaths from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDS) by 25 per cent by 2025 in line with the World Health Assembly resolution.

NCDS are those disorders that are non-infectious and cannot pass on to other people from an infected person such as hypertension, cancer, heart diseases and obesity.

Lifestyle problems

For the fashion conscious women, bariatric surgery helps one lose weight within a lesser period than it would have taken for the diets and varied weight-loss methods. In the paper, Dr Shchukin delved into the lifestyle problem of obesity and why some Kenyans have opted for medical and surgical solutions for instant weight loss.

 In an interview with a local daily ahead of the symposium, Dr Shchukin discussed the three types of bariatric surgery and its uptake as a weight loss option.

He lists three common procedures: gastric balloon, gastric banding and gastric bypass as part of the conventional ways both men and women are adopting to lose weight through the intervention of a doctor.

Known as the intra-gastric balloon because it sits inside the stomach and restricts the amount of food one eats, Dr Shchukin cites this as one of the easily done weight  loss procedures that is fitted through one’s mouth into the stomach in a process known as endoscopy.

“We fit a balloon inside your stomach and you feel less hungry because the balloon occupies some space yet you still achieve the same satisfaction as you would have experienced by eating a larger meal,” he said.

That you live with this balloon day-in-day-out is a procedure that Dr Shchukin says should be accompanied by the desire and commitment to change the individual’s lifestyle towards losing weight.

“The balloon is introduced into the stomach through the mouth without going through surgery and it stays in place for six to eight months, as a way to ‘train’ you not to eat too much food,” Dr Shchukin added.

Dr Shchukin adds that as the balloon goes down, it is inflated using a device that pumps air into the balloon and a camera looks inside to ensure it fits in place.

To ensure the balloon does not spontaneously deflate, a coloured dye is placed inside the balloon so that in case of leakage, one can identify it through a change in colour of their urine, Dr Shchukin says.

To remove the balloon after the said duration, it is punctured using a device inserted through the mouth while another device retrieves the deflated balloon, he said.

A disclaimer that insurance companies do not cover this medical weight loss procedures does not discourage women from digging deep into their pockets for either Sh300,000 for the gastric balloon, Sh550,00 for the gastric band or Sh600,000 for the gastric sleeve.

In yet another option of the weight loss surgery, Dr Shchukin says an adjustable band is placed in the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch to hold food thus one gets to eat less. Known as the gastric band, one is put to sleep as the placement is being done and the surgeon makes small cuts on the stomach to create pathways for a camera to enable him see inside the belly, a procedure known as laparoscopy. “The pouch limits the amounts of food you can eat and makes you fill fuller even after eating small amounts of food,” said Dr Shchukin.

The third procedure is known as gastric bypass where the food one eats does not follow the complete cycle of digestion and instead, as the name suggests, bypasses parts of your stomach and the small intestines that break down the food.

Dr Shchukin has so far performed 40 balloon procedures, 10 bands and 50 sleeves, mostly on women.

Dr Joseph Githaiga, also a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi School of Medicine, said these procedures are a convenient and effective way to manage weight loss for persons who have morbid obesity.

He has also performed bariatric surgery on patients who desire to lose weight fast but warns it should be accompanied by self-discipline to ensure the kilos do not return.


“Losing weight is one task. Maintaining is another that requires discipline and commitment,” he noted.

Once considered a problem only in high income countries, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that obesity and overweight are on the rise in low-and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.

WHO defines obesity and overweight as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health especially because they predispose you to a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.


Sleep problems linked to prostate cancer risk

Men who have sleep problems, including difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, have up to a twofold increased risk for prostate cancer, according to a new study published in the U.S. journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.


Tomato-soy diet may help reduce prostate cancer risk

WASHINGTON, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Tomatoes and soy foods may be more effective in preventing prostate cancer when they are eaten together than when either is eaten alone, U.S. researchers have said.
   "Eating tomato, soy, and the combination all significantly reduced prostate cancer incidence," said John Erdman, a professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Illinois. "But the combination gave us the best results," he said in Washington on May 8.


Why people should eat more sweet potatoes

By Peter Mutai and Ronald Njoroge
 Sweet potatoes have more energy than rice, cassava or wheat, the International Potato Center (CIP), says.
At the same time, the CIP is asking African countries to embrace the crop due to its high carbohydrate content.
"Studies show that the sweet potato produces more edible energy per hectare compared to rice, cassava or wheat," the CIP Project Manager Adiel Mbabu says.


Health experts give male circumcision tool a clean bill of health

Kenya’s health experts have approved the PrePex, a new male circumcision tool.
  The Male Circumcision Consortium (MCC) in partnership with the National AIDS/STI Control Programme (NASCOP) and the Nyanza Reproductive Health Society (NRHS) have approved the device after a study following concerns over its safety. PrePex could even be included in the national health programmes.


Mothers who eat junk food in pregnancy expose their babies to the addiction

Mothers who eat junk food while pregnant have already programmed their babies to be addicted to a high fat, high sugar diet by the time they are weaned, researchers say.
The research, from the University of Adelaide in Australia, found that a junk food diet during pregnancy and lactation desensitized the normal reward system fueled by these highly palatable foods.


Experts turns to primary school girls to win war on cancer

By Ejidiah Wangui  
What would you say or do if your daughter came home from school and told you she had been given cancer vaccine back in school?
   Well, this is the direction Kenya has taken in its efforts to tame the rising cases of cervical cancer, which is the second killer among Kenyan women.


Healthy campaign!

Healthy campaign! Chancery Wright staff are attended free clinic at the company's M – care Medical Centre. This is in line with helping them know their wellness status as an emphasis of health campaign.


Uganda ambulance initiative Kenya's governors could learn from

By Stephen Mburu in Nairobi and
Daniel Edyegu and Ronald Ssekandi, in Mbale
The Ugandan government and a European health service provider have joined hands to help the sick in rural areas access health centres for urgent attention.
The motorcycle ambulance initiative in Uganda's Mbale district is a health lesson Kenya’s governors could borrow with a view to helping improve service delivery to residents of their counties.